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Simple Home Maintenance Tips

1. Toilets

Water leaking from your toilet tank will not only cost you money when it comes to your utility bill, but it can also cause water damage to your bathroom floor and premature wear of your toilet’s internal workings. To find out whether your toilet tank is leaking, add some red food coloring to the water in the tank. Come back in about an hour and see if the water in the bowl is pink. If it is, you have a leak.
If you find that your toilet is leaking from the tank to the bowl, the flapper needs to be replaced. To change your toilet’s flapper, first shut off the water supply to your toilet. To do this, simply turn the water valve located directly behind the toilet. Remove the tank lid and flush the toilet in order to empty the tank. Use a towel or sponge to mop out any excess water left in the tank. Remove the flush chain from the lever, and then slide the old flapper up off the overflow tube. Slide the new flapper in place over the overflow tube, reconnect the chain, and turn the water supply back on.

2. Faucets

The main cause of leaky faucets is worn out washers. The washers inside of the faucet handles are rubber and tend to wear out quickly. Replace them by turning off the main water supply, unscrewing the leaky handle that controls the flow of water to the spout, removing the old washer, and dropping in the new one.

3. Washing Machine & Dryer

It is important to regularly inspect your washing machine water supply hoses for leaks. One of the top reasons for insurance claims is for water damage caused by leaky washing machine supply lines. Inspect washing machine water supply lines at least annually and replace them every three years if they are plastic. If you notice that the metal ends of your water supply lines are discolored or rusty, replace them immediately.
Faulty washing machine drain hoses are as important as water supply lines when it comes to keeping water off of your floor and in your drain where it belongs. As with supply lines, regularly inspect the ends of your washing machine drain lines for discoloration or rust, and replace them immediately if you find evidence of leaking.
Additionally, check the snugness of the drain lines by using a crescent wrench or a pair of pliers. You should not be able to tighten the line any further if the line is properly tightened. Plastic lines should be replaced every three years.
When it comes to your dryer, it is important to make sure that you regularly clean your lint screen in order to prevent fires. Not only will a clean lint screen prevent fires, but it will also increase the life of the heating element. Physically remove the lint from the screen between each load of laundry. Also, be sure to remove fabric softener residue by washing the screen with warm water and dish detergent once per week.

4. Water Heater

There is nothing more frustrating than turning on the hot water in your shower and instead receiving cold water. Water heaters, like other appliances, need maintenance to increase longevity and reduce the possibility of damage.
Water has sediment suspended in it, and as the water sits in your water heater, these particles will often settle to the bottom of the tank, causing damage to the floor of your water heater. At least once per year, drain the water from your water heater and clean the inside surface of its floor.
To drain your water heater, first turn off the water supply and power to the water heater. For electric water heaters, turning off the power means that you simply flip the circuit breaker to the “off” position. For gas water heaters, turn the thermostat setting to the pilot position.
Next, connect a water hose to the drain fitting at the bottom of the tank and put the other end in a place, such as your driveway, where the draining hot water won’t cause any damage. A typical garden hose is a direct fit to the drain fitting. Turn on all the hot water faucets in your home and then open the drain valve on the water heater. Turn the water supply back on with the drain valve still open to remove any built up sediment in the bottom of the tank. Then close the drain valve, refill the tank, and turn the power back on.

5. Plumbing

In order to keep water flowing freely through your pipes, keep the following things in mind:
  • Accumulating fats and oils are the main cause for clogs, so never pour fats or other oils down your drains. This includes oils that are not solid at room temperature. If you accidentally spill oils or fats down the drain, run hot water down your drain along with a healthy serving of dishwashing liquid. The soap will emulsify the fat or oil and move it on down the pipe, preventing a clog.
  • Get a hair strainer for the bathtub drain. If fats and oils are the main source of clogs in the kitchen, hair is the primary culprit in the bathroom. If you have a strainer, make sure that you remove any accumulated hair from it following each shower. This will reduce the amount of hair that finds its way through the strainer and into your plumbing.
  • Skip the Drano. Though the acids it contains can help unclog a drain, they also cause significant damage to your plumbing, including premature leaking. This can lead to costly repairs later on. If your bathtub or toilet is completely clogged, use a small drain snake – which you can purchase at any hardware outlet – to pull the offending clog to the surface. If your kitchen sink is clogged, try plunging it before trying to snake the drain. If you cannot remove the clog using a drain snake, call a professional.

6. Air Conditioning

Air conditioners are among the most overlooked appliances when it comes to performing regular home maintenance. However, they can be one of the most costly appliances to repair.
Regularly inspect the condensation hose to make sure that water can flow freely from the line. If there is standing water where your condensation line drains, create a drainage path using a small garden trowel and line the path with gravel to keep mold and algae from forming, which can be a serious health hazard when the spores are drawn into the appliance and blown into your home.
Additionally, keep the screen around your air conditioner free from debris to keep air flowing easily. This will prevent your air conditioner from using more power than necessary to keep your house cool and keep the internal parts from wearing out too quickly.

7. Humidifiers

Some climate control systems have in-duct humidifiers that help keep air moist and healthy during the winter when artificial heat systems are in use. But when these systems aren’t working properly, they become a breeding ground for mold and bacteria, which can cause serious air quality issues.
At the end of each winter season, it is important to drain the unit and close the water valve to keep water from stagnating in the system. Also, cleaning the reservoir with a mixture of water and white vinegar helps to keep mineral deposits to a minimum.

8. Air Filters

Change the air filter in your central heat and air unit often, especially during peak usage months. Thirty days is the absolute longest you should ever leave an air filter in place; two weeks is maximum for high-usage months.
Using cheap fiberglass filters is actually preferred as opposed to more expensive HEPA filters for two reasons: First, replacing the more expensive filters often isn’t cost-effective. Second, the fiberglass filters actually allow for more air to flow into your climate-controlled unit, reducing the amount of energy needed to effectively heat or cool your home.

9. Paint

You can easily give your house a facelift by repainting the interior. However, repainting the entire interior of your house can be costly and difficult to accomplish. You can save both time and money by strategically touching up your paint job every so often. The first thing you need is a spot-on color match. The only way to get this is to save paint from your current paint job for future touch-ups. If you have leftover paint, simply roll the paint over the dirty spots on your walls. When the paint dries, it will dry perfectly, leaving you with a wall that looks as though you just painted it.
If you don’t have any leftover paint, you can still touch up your walls, though your efforts will be more labor intensive than spot painting. Take a sample of your color to your local hardware outlet and have your paint tinted to match. When you are ready to touch up your walls, paint the dirty wall from corner to corner, being careful to keep the new paint off any surface you aren’t looking to touch up. If there is a shade difference, you won’t notice it, even if the wall you are painting butts up against another wall.
If you are trying to cover up nicotine-stained walls, you will need to apply a stain blocker to the walls before applying paint. Nicotine will prevent your paint from adhering properly to the wall surface and will cause bubbles. Additionally, if stale smoke or other odor is an issue, add a few drops of vanilla to your paint. This will help combat odors that have seeped into your drywall.

10. Refrigerators

The main component of your refrigerator that should get your attention is the door seals. Keeping your door seals tight will reduce the amount of energy it takes to keep your food cool or frozen, but will also keep your refrigerator working efficiently, preventing premature wear on internal parts.
To test the door seals, close the door on a dollar bill and attempt to pull it out with the door closed. If you cannot easily pull the dollar bill out from the door, your seals are in good shape. However, if the bill slides out without much resistance, it’s time to replace the seals. You can purchase new seals from any home repair outlet store.
Also, if you have a refrigerator that has coils along the back, periodically vacuum these coils to remove dirt and dust build up. These coils contain the coolant the refrigerator uses to keep the internal temperature cold. If they become dirty, they won’t work efficiently and your refrigerator may stop cooling altogether.
As a general tip, keeping your refrigerator full uses less energy than trying to cool when it’s empty. Therefore, keep as many items in your refrigerator as possible to help reduce energy costs.

11. Drafty Windows

Drafty windows are a major culprit of high energy bills in the summer and winter months. Periodically check the condition of the caulk line that holds your windows in place. If the caulk appears to be dry, cracked, or otherwise weathered, remove the old caulk with a box cutter or other sharp knife and run a new bead of caulk along the seam.
For added utility bill savings, you can further insulate your window by applying an insulating window film over the glass. These methods cost much less than the price of replacing your windows and implementing green energy technologies in your home.

12. Gutters

While gutters may go practically unnoticed when you look at your house, they are the main line of defense between your foundation and siding and the elements. Gutters are designed to capture water and debris runoff from your roof and divert it away from your foundation, and one of the main causes of water accumulation in basements is a lack of gutter maintenance and proper water diversion.
Clean your gutters at least once per year by physically removing debris from the channels and rinsing them thoroughly by using a garden hose. Avoid installing gutter guards – not only do these not adequately prevent debris from entering your gutters, they also make it extremely difficult (if not impossible) to properly clean your gutter system.
Also, be sure to regularly check that your gutters are properly affixed to your fascia boards, and replace any sections that appear to be damaged or leaking.

13. Roof

Periodically check your roof for damage. Damaged, discolored, or gravel-less shingles should be quickly replaced to prevent the need to replace your roof, water-damaged trusses, or drywall when you finally discover a leak. During the inspection of your roof, pay special attention to shingles that surround skylights, vents, and chimneys, as these areas are the most leak-prone.

Final Word

Keeping your home properly maintained will not only save you money by increasing the longevity of your appliances and existing structures, but it will also help you become more energy-efficient and save money on your utility bills. These tips merely scratch the surface of the things you can do around your home to keep everything running in tiptop shape.






Five Indoor Plumbing Maintenance Tips

    plumbing repair and replacement asheville nc
Though the calendar indicates it is still winter, spring is in the air and blooming in the trees. In the midst of spring cleaning and garage sales, utilize the new season to perform routine and proper maintenance on your home's plumbing systems.
In this article, we will walk you through plumbing maintenance steps that will help you improve your home's energy efficiency and identify minor issues before they require major repairs.

1) Check Your Home's Water Lines For Leaks

Leaking pipes waste water and cause water damage. It is important to identify leaks early, before mold and mildew develops. Common leaking water lines can be found in a number of areas in your home, including:
  • Underneath kitchen and bathroom sinks
  • Cold and hot water heater supply lines
  • Kitchen appliances: washing machine, dishwasher, refrigerator, etc.
  • In your basement or crawlspace
If you discover leaking pipes, contact a professional plumber to assess and repair the issue as soon as possible.
energy efficient plubming tips

2) Perform Routine Maintenance on Water Heater

We detailed the steps to performing water heater maintenance in our previous article. You can read that article here. In summary, water heater maintenance includes:
  • Flushing the water heater's storage tank
  • Checking the unit's sacrificial anode rod
  • Setting the thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Maintaining at least two feet of clearance around the system

3) Examine and Repair Toilets

Running toilets are a nuisance, but did you know it can cost a homeowner as much as $1,000 in water usage over the course of a year. If your toilet is running, or leaking around the base, it is important to contact a plumber as soon as possible.
4) Clean and Repair Garbage Disposal

Over time, garbage disposals can begin to emit an unpleasant odor. The process for cleaning your garbage disposal is simple: Run water through it for thirty seconds, pour about half of a cup of baking soda into it, add one cup of vinegar and allow it to soak for thirty seconds, and after ten minutes, carefully pour a pot of boiling water into the drain.
If you are uncomfortable cleaning your disposal, or it requires more significant repairs, contact a professional plumber.

5) Check Your Basement or Crawlspace for Moisture

Moisture from humidity, condensation, or leaking pipes can lead to the development of mold. Once it forms, mold can spread quickly through walls and flooring, and be difficult and costly to remove. Correcting the source of the moisture is key to preventing or removing mold.
As you perform plumbing maintenance, you may discover more significant plumbing repair needs. 
By - Barlow Plumbing 
We are here to help. Contact Coral Palm Development for repair and installation in Gauteng and surrounding areas.

Home Repair Service

Keeping your home in tip-top shape requires many home repairs. When you don't have the time or skills to tackle these projects, a trustworthy home repair or handyman service can help.
By Kathy Barnes


A home is the biggest purchase most of us will ever make. Protect your investment by taking care of repairs quickly and properly. When you have a routine maintenance problem that you don't have the time or skills to tackle, a home repair or handyman service can help. These services are generally less expensive and faster than general contractors, who often focus on top-dollar gigs like home building and remodeling.
It can be scary to invite a person or crew into your home to do work, especially if you won't always be around to keep a watchful eye. It's important to find a home repair service you can trust to provide prompt and quality work. Whether your project is as small as painting one room or as big as rewiring your whole home, follow these steps before hiring anyone.

Talk to Friends and Neighbours
First, ask neighbours and friends for recommendations, preferably for someone with whom they have a positive, on-going relationship. If that doesn't net results, check peer-review sites, such as Yelp or Angie's List, or do an online search for "home repair" or "handyman services." Make a list of at least three companies, and call the Better Business Bureau to see if complaints have been filed against any of them.

Ask for References
Next, ask the candidates for references. Ask these customers if they felt the service provider was prompt, courteous, professional, affordable, fair, and trustworthy. Ask to see photos so you can judge the quality of the work. It's best to interview customers who hired the contractor for a project similar to the work you need.

Get Written Estimates
Finally, get written estimates (these should be free) from a few companies before choosing one. Be sure the companies are bidding the same specs for the project so you can compare apples to apples. While reasonable pricing is important, going with the lowest price isn't always the best bet. A poor repair job will cost twice as much when you must pay to fix mistakes. When working with a new-to-you repairperson, particularly someone who doesn't come with recommendations from people you know well, you might want to give him or her a test run on a small project.

Outline Your Agreement
Hire only a repair service or handyman who is insured, bonded, and licensed or knowledgeable in the type of repairs you need. Before they begin even a small job, get a written contract that outlines the terms of your agreement, including timeline, fees, and warranties. Without this step, you'll have a much harder time recovering your expenses if the handyman doesn't deliver as promised.

By - Kathy Barnes 



5 Easy DIY Home Maintenance Tips for Your Home

Sometimes, we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of our lives and forget to take care of ourselves or the places that we call home. Simple tasks get pushed to the back burner because we are too busy with our day-to-day activities. The start of a brand new year is the ideal time to freshen things up a bit. One of the easiest ways to do this is to complete small maintenance tasks around your home. Below, we’ve outlined a few tips on simple home maintenance tasks to refresh your home in the New Year.
  1. Change air filters
One of the easiest ways to make your home feel cleaner and fresher in 2017 is to make sure you are changing the air filters throughout the year. This is a very simple task, but it is often forgotten about. Simply unscrew the metal grate where your air filters are located, remove the dirty filter, and replace it with a clean new filter.
air filters
  1. Replace smoke detector batteries and carbon monoxide detector batteries
For your safety, it’s important to make sure that all alarm systems are functioning correctly in your home. Locate all of the smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in your house, open the battery compartment, and replace with new batteries. Hopefully, you will not be in a situation where you need these alarms but it is better to err on the side of caution.
smoke detector battery
  1. Clean your garbage disposal
The garbage disposal in your sink works hard to crush up and wash away the many different food items that you put down the drain. Doing a deep clean of the disposal once a year can help eliminate odors and keep your system running smoothly. Simply pour one cup of ice cubes and one cup of salt down the drain, run the water, and turn on the disposal.
garbage disposal
  1. Weatherproof your windows
Keep your windows in tip-top shape all season long by weatherproofing them and giving them a good deep clean. You may not even realize that your view to the world outside is being filtered by a layer of built-up grime on your windows. First, completely remove the window screens and use a cleaning product like Windex to wipe down both the inside and outside of the glass as well as all windowsills. Your windows will be sparkling and more sunshine will be able to make its way inside your home this spring.
weather proof windows
  1. Clear dead plants and shrubs from around your home’s foundation to avoid damage to the structure
Adding greenery to your front lawn may improve the appearance of your home, but if you don’t properly maintain the shrubs and plants then you risk harming the structure of the house. Each season, take time to clear away any plants that didn’t last through the winter and trim back any living plants so that they do not cause damage.
clear dead plants
By completing these simple household maintenance tasks, you’ll feel accomplished and refreshed for Spring. It feels fantastic to embrace warmer weather on the right foot and hopefully, completing these tasks will help you keep your home healthy throughout the year ahead.
- Invitationhomes

7 Tips for Building Your First Home

by Lauren Busser The House Designers’ Editorial Director
Some home building goofs, like spilled paint or a hole in the drywall are easy to fix as things move along. But you've got to be careful to avoid major, costly errors when building your first home. No one wants to spend their hard-earned cash, time and energy building a home only to later discover that there's been a major oversight which needs correcting. Here are a few things to think about to help you avoid builder's remorse.
It’s all in the Planning
A house is an investment that is meant to last, theoretically forever. So it's wise to plan well into the future when you build your first home. Is your family growing? Do you want a place to entertain? Is it in a location where you'd consider spending the rest of your life? Your answers to these questions will determine what kind of home you are looking for.
Clairmont House Plan
The Clairmont house planworks with the landscape outside and has excellent planning inside. With an open floor plan and a separate Great Room this house also allows for future expansion on the lower level.
Work with the Landscape
These days, owners of smaller homes are dedicating less time and resources to initially developing and maintaining their landscapes. But a house that simply sits between block walls or fences obviously isn't going to be very appealing in the long term. So when you’re planning your build, leave ample space around the house for future gardens or outdoor living spaces.
Safety First
It’s extremely important to feel safe and secure in your home. Planning for things like fire exits, exterior lighting and a security system go a long way in improving the safety of your new home.
Morrison House Plan
The Morrison house plan is a small cottage with a design allowing it be expanded into a two-story home relatively simply. Not only does it have plenty of amenities but it is also part of our energy efficient house plans collection.
Green is Key
A big trend in today’s market is the green home. There are a lot of green, water-saving technologies in a range of prices. Take a look at the ENERGY STAR® website to see a wide variety of energy-saving building products and appliances that you can use in your home.
Keep it Affordable
Size is an important consideration when building your first home. If you are building a larger home you can obviously expect to pay more in mortgage payments, property taxes, maintenance and utilities but you wouldn't want to build so small that it leaves you without options for redesign or expansion later. Really think about the spaces you'll need and what you can afford when planning your house and you won’t have regrets later on.
When you are planning to build your first home, you should really plan to allocate half to two-thirds of what you can actually afford towards building it. No house comes in at or under budget, and sometimes quite a bit over. This results from a variety of factors, some of which may be due to your upgrading specifications, fixtures or materials as you go along. Sometimes it's an oversight, or increase in building materials costs, or even weather delays. You can reduce overages with diligence and planning but some will always sneak by.
Merveille Vivante House Plan
You can’t get an affordable house plan more luxurious than the Merveille Vivante Small House Plan.
In the Details
It’s easy to think about how many bedrooms you need or what you want in your kitchen but don’t forget other details too. For instance, there should be a bathroom on each floor if you are building a multi-story home. You'll also want to consider amenities like extra closet space for any guests you might periodically have staying with you.
Leave it to the Professionals
The best advice anyone can give you when building your home is to make as many preparations in advance as possible and let the professionals execute your dream. You should visit the site often to observe what your contractor and subcontractors are up to but making lots of changes during construction will hinder the timeline and ultimately cost you more money. So don’t be afraid to hold off on breaking ground until you are really happy with your design on paper.
Building your first home is a rewarding experience but while you are planning take some time to consider these points and make your home something that will stand the test of time. Remember, your home is likely to be the biggest investment you'll ever make, so planning and doing it right the first time is the way to assured satisfaction in the final result.
Ref - Lauren Busser The House Designers

Construction and Development Company ( Gauteng )


Coral Palm Development Building and Construction Company in Gauteng. 

Need a Contractor , builder, plumber etc. look no further!!!

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-             Building
-             Construction
-             Renovation
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